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This has to be the greatest highlight of doing this podcast. I got to talk to Armin Shimerman – he of Quark fame from Star Trek DS9. This man is definitely a national treasure.
He’s a Shakespearean rhetoric scholar, teaches at USC and works with at risk youth. We discuss his book series which is an Edwardian historical novel that uses the characters from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to weave a masterful tale.
This man is so much beyond the characters we know him from and this interview is worth the listen for the knowledge he passes along.
On November 5, 2022, renown stage and television actor Armin Shimerman will release the final book of his historical trilogy, Illyria. Until then, readers are invited to enter the world he created – occupied by familiar and fantastic characters of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – with a new bundle of the first two books in the series available through Jumpmaster Press.
The series opens with Betrayal of Angels. Doctor John Dee is an Elizabethan mathematician, cryptographer, mystic, and The Queen’s conjurer. He is commissioned by Her Majesty’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to uncover treason, reveal terrorists, and unveil threats to The Crown by a young Count who governs Illyria, an island in the English Channel. Dr. Dee is accosted by a teen playwright, William, who solicits the renowned scholar’s mentorship, which results in an unlikely collaboration to sleuth out sedition on Illyria.
The saga continues in book two, A Sea of Troubles. While John Dee investigates the loyalty of a Catholic nobleman on Illyria, he must overcome legal and reputational worries at home Meanwhile, his exiled young assistant William becomes more entangled with the people and the prejudices of the island, including an arranged marriage that is not to his liking. Who is to be believed and who is to be trusted in a time of shifting loyalties?
“If you’ve ever wondered how a relatively unschooled William Shakespeare became the best writer of the English language, and if you’ve been intrigued by movies and books about the Elizabethan era, The Illyria Trilogy is my response to you. The era and its magic, its politics, its theater, its people, its superstitions, and its cruelty; swirl into that all the characters from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night including the actual man who was the prototype for Prospero in The Tempest. I know the time travel will inspire and entertain,” said Armin.
“… delightful book … Shimerman creates a charming …
wonderful tale …”
Mike LoMonico Institute Director – Folger Shakespeare Library
“What a treat to discover that such a remarkable actor would be an equally remarkable writer. “Betrayal of Angels,” … One hell of a story (and storyteller). I impatiently wait for the last two installments.”
Rick Berman, Star Trek Executive Producer
“Shimerman’s fact-packed, historical adventure [is a] … must read … He had me at the first word …”
Scott Carter Emmy-nominated TV producer
A veteran of stage and screen, Armin is widely known for his portrayal of Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other credits include notable appearances on TV shows from Hill Street Blues and The West Wing to CSI and dozens of others. His voice has been heard in many animated shows and popular game series such as Ratchet & Clank and BioShock. Armin is a renown stage actor, having performed on Broadway and stages across the country. He is also a Shakespeare scholar and teacher, theatre arts lecturer, and former Associate Artistic Director of the Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles. With his wife, Kitty Swink, Armin is an active fundraiser for the Pancreatic Center Action Network (PanCAn).
[00:00:45] Stephen: Okay, welcome to episode 111 of discovered word Smiths. I am not going to spend a lot of time yaking today because this is a super special episode for me. I’ve got Armen Shimerman on that I [00:01:00] talked to, he was so wonderful. Uh, if you don’t know who he is, he played cork on star Trek D deep space, nine principal Snyder on Buffy.
He was one of the knocks, the head knocks on Stargate SG one, uh, Multitude other characters. I’ve seen him on castle when I was watching that the one day, um, he is just such a great joy to talk to. I found so many things out. Uh, he is a Shakespearean rhetoric scholar at UCLA, and he was at Kansas city at the time.
Uh, we spoke doing a play and he still acts on Broadway and, uh, does voiceovers and does acting, you know, for shows. Along with writing, you know, it’s just for people that are like struggling just to write, you know, he has done all of this and he still loves to write. And we talk about that and he’s encouraging to other writers.
So it’s a really great talk, really great interview and his books [00:02:00] he takes, uh, Times Elizabeth and times and puts Shakespeare characters into him. So it’s a historical novel with fictional fantasy characters, and I think that’s so great. And he really strives to get the. Tone and the flow of the words and the right words of how they spoke.
And I think that’s great making it something that even if that wouldn’t be a book you would normally read should be of interest to you. Uh, uh, all the authors that are listening and talking about dialogue and, uh, getting that to work, here’s something that. Totally different than what we usually talk about.
And it could help you to really understand, uh, pros and writing and hearing it in a different way. So I encourage everyone to check the books out. Uh, the third one will be out shortly. So like I said, I’m not gonna yak a whole lot. Uh, I’m just going to turn it over and here’s Armen. All right. Well, today I’m super excited.[00:03:00]
This is somebody that I’d never thought I’d talk to. So I’m great flustered if it doesn’t show, but I wanna welcome Armen Sheerman to the podcast. How you doing today?
[00:03:13] Armin: I’m good. And my last name is Shimerman
[00:03:15] Stephen: Shimerman oh, see, I already screwed up. See,
[00:03:18] Armin: Quite. Alright. You got the first part, right.
[00:03:22] Stephen: Gotman right? Yeah. Yeah. Good.
[00:03:23] Armin: Okay. Just, it looks like Shimerman. Yeah. When my father immigrated to this country, Ellis island took the sea in the M out in the middle of the name. So it looks like Shimerman, but it’s but he called it and I call.
[00:03:35] Stephen: Jerman okay. Now I
[00:03:37] Armin: knows in the middle, the way it’s pronounced,
[00:03:39] Stephen: I’ll tell you when I told some of my friends who I was gonna be talking to and they flipped out and I was like the nerd God, for a little while that they all said the same thing.
So now I can correct them. So I’m even more above them. So there we go. And my last name, Schneider. So believe all the time, people have no
[00:03:58] Armin: idea. And you must know that [00:04:00] I played a character named Schneider for three years. On another show at the same time I was doing star treks. Yes.
[00:04:06] Stephen: But we felt the German way with the S C so all right.
So I, we’re talking a little bit here, but for those that are listening, going well, who the heck is this guy? Maybe they’re not the sci-fi movie TV show fans. Tell everybody a little bit about who you are and some of the things you like to do outside of writing.
[00:04:25] Armin: Sure. For those of you who are not familiar with my background, I’ve done a lot of TV in my life.
A lot of theater in my life for my TV work. Perhaps I’m best known for a character named qu on star Trek, deeps space nine, which I performed for seven years. I, if the name isn’t familiar, I’m quite sure that the, uh, the image of him is cuz he was around for a very long time and was quite popular. It was a orange faced guy with very large ears, very sharp teeth.
And uh, he’s been equated to Trump many [00:05:00] times. I’m not sure that’s a good analogy, but there it is. So there’s that aside from. Schneider references to Buffy the vampire Slayer, which I did for three years. At the same time I’ve done about, I don’t know, about 90 TV shows many recurring characters, some films, not as many films as I’d like, and a ton of theater.
I think of myself as a theater actor. In fact, right now I’m in Kansas city, performing “The play that goes wrong”. And, having a great time doing that. I’ve been a union activist. I’ve done a lot of animation work as a voiceover actor. And perhaps if you guys play games, a number of my games are familiar to you.
Like Ratchet and Clank or primarily Bioshock, where I played a character named Andrew Ryan. If there’s anything I hate doing more than anything else in the world, it’s listing my credit. So that’s as much as I’m gonna say about myself,
[00:05:52] Stephen: I just gotta jump in real quick. But one of my favorites was the Nox on Stargate.
Yes, exactly. Absolutely. Besides [00:06:00] acting and directing and being in plays. Do you have any other fun hobbies that you like or do you have
[00:06:06] Armin: time? Time is very important hobbies. I like to play chess. I used to be a very good chess player. I’m not as, I’m not that good anymore. I do a lot of reading, so that’s a great hobby.
I love reading. I love seeing what other people have put down on the page. I like taking hikes, I’ve taken some wonderful hikes around the world. That’s something I like to do. The last major hike I took was the Cotswold way, which is about 110 miles from Stratford upon Avon to the city of bath in England.
Nice. And my wife and I are planning another trip back to England. This fall actually, where we’ll take another very long and wonderful.
[00:06:47] Stephen: That sounds cool. I like hiking. I used to do backpacking when I was younger. Could handle it. So with, with all the acting and the plays and stuff that you do, why did you wanna start writing?
And I know you’ve said before [00:07:00] that you’ve written, since you were young, why did you wanna get back into it in more recent years and get some novels
[00:07:06] Armin: I’ve always been attracted to writing. And as you say, as a young man, I did a lot of writing. I never wrote novels. I wrote poems and short stories and things of that ilk, but I met a gentleman at a star Trek convention actually, who was a publisher.
And he reminded me how much I liked writing and convinced me to do some writing for him. And that was the beginning. That was the, the dam break. And I was sitting in my trailer. One day while shooting star Trek, you spend a lot of the time in your trailers when you’re shooting a TV show, waiting for everybody to get ready.
And I started to write, and that was the beginning. And I’ve been entranced ever since. I,
[00:07:49] Stephen: I love that because it seems very common theme with writers that I had this other job. I was doing this other job, but I really wanted to write. So I just snuck it in when I could. And I [00:08:00] loved. So
[00:08:01] Armin: Any writer yourself included, must know the joy of putting a sentence together that you’re very proud of.
If you can string them together enough times, then you’ve got yourself a really nice novel, but even just to do it once even to look at a sentence and go, that’s really good, really got what I was thinking in my head. Nothing is a better thrill for me than. Except perhaps getting line reading. Exactly. And both of those are rare.
So when they come they’re appreciated.
[00:08:31] Stephen: I agree. So you’ve written several books. You’ve got the third of your trilogy coming out. So tell us about those books. What’s this book about? What’s the trilogy
[00:08:42] Armin: about? Let me start with the trilogy that I wrote before that has a lead in to this one. That’s a science fiction series.
With the lead character of a man named John D, who was a historical character in Elizabeth, in England, a great polymath perhaps had the largest library in England. And [00:09:00] perhaps that library may have been a source reference for a Shakespeare. When he was writing, he may have visited that library. There is some small suggestions that that may have happened.
Anyway. He was the lead in my science fiction novel. and, but they’ve, those novels were primarily written to as Quark as my character from star Trek. That’s what the publisher wanted. Although his, he had the name of John D. He was Quark. And while I was writing those novels, I got very frustrated with the fact that I was not writing about John D.
I was writing about my star Trek charact. And I swore to John D who’s been dead for a little while that, that I would write something that was about him, about the him as I understood him because I’ve been researching him for 20 years. And so my novels are an outgrowth of that promise to [00:10:00] his ghost that I would write something.
And because you asked me what else I do. One of the other things I do is I’m, I’m a professor of Shakespeare, both at the local level and the collegiate level. And I teach at USC in Los Angeles. And so my study of Shakespeare, my study of Elizabeth and times, my study of John D all coalesced together in the writing of this novel, what are my novels about my novels are about the current trilogy is about the amalgam of the characters of 12th night.
Shakespeare’s 12th night and historical characters that were in the midst of a great. There was a great religious upheaval at that time. Uh, there was huge battles between the Protestants and the Catholics in England at that time. And in Europe, not just in, so my novels are about that historical conflict and with the, uh, fantasy figures from Shakespeare’s play 12th night.
[00:10:59] Stephen: [00:11:00] So it’s a little bit alternative history, a little bit historical. No, it’s not alternative
[00:11:04] Armin: history because that would mean that I would change history. I don’t change history at all. What I do is inject characters of 12th night into real history. Okay. So they’re fantastical in the sense that they’re from a play and they’re not real, but everything that is swirling around them is real.
Everything is historical. And I try to emulate the speech of the time. That’s what I teach actors. When I teach Shakespeare is how to understand and facilitate. That sort of talk that many readers and many audience members get frustrated by because they feel that they don’t understand Shakespeare’s language.
Usually the problem, at least for people who go to the theater is that the actors don’t understand Shakespeare’s language and they don’t make it clear enough for the audience to understand. One of the, my great achievements is. My students are taught by acting [00:12:00] students are taught how to communicate that language in a certain way so that it becomes much, much clearer.
And that’s what I try to do in my novels.
[00:12:09] Stephen: Cool goal because I agree. I know we all get Shakespeare in high school in just about everybody’s life. And I, the problem is
[00:12:15] Armin: Shakespeare is high school teachers teaching Shakespeare. That is, that’s a bad combination and no wonder people hate Shakespeare because they’re forced to read something.
They don’t understand. They don’t understand why Shakespeare puts words together, the way he does. That’s the study of. If they don’t understand rhetoric, then there’s no way of understanding Shakespeare, not correctly. You can get bits and pieces. The equation I often use is that if you don’t know French and you hear some French, occasionally you’ll pick up some words because they’re cos the words are the same, then that’s what it is.
If you don’t understand rhetoric, reading Shakespeare or listening to an actor who doesn’t understand. You’re only gonna get bits and pieces and you’re gonna feel [00:13:00] very frustrated. You’re gonna feel stupid and you’re not gonna wanna see that playwright again.
[00:13:04] Stephen: I, I like that. So it’s popularizing.
[00:13:07] Armin: Yes.
That, yeah. And that’s what my that’s a good way to put my novels as well. Is there popular popularizing Shakespeare making you understand the times that he lives in and becoming familiar with the way he.
[00:13:21] Stephen: I love the thought of taking the characters, the fantasy characters and putting ’em into the real life.
Where’d you get that idea from, or that thought from
[00:13:30] Armin: in my science fiction trilogy, the first one I co-authored with a man named, michael is Michael’s last name from an author, let’s say, and I hopefully will remember his name in a moment. And. Michael was actually the one who suggested the idea of using Shakespeare and one of his plays as a point of reference for a novel.
And I’m grateful for that. And I’m so embarrassed. I can’t remember Michael we’ll try and figure it out. He’s a very, [00:14:00] and maybe if I just quickly look it up, I will have something for you. Michael Scott. Thank you. Michael Scott. Okay. Michael Scott, who is prolific fantasy writer. Really quite wonderful. And he and I, co-authored my first novel, which is, uh, in the other series in the merchant print series.
[00:14:21] Stephen: And this third book, the trilogy it’ll be finished November. I believe it’s
[00:14:25] Armin: coming up November the fifth, which is guy Fox day in, in England. It also happens to be my birthday. So they coincide and it will be out on November the fifth. Nice. Remember the 5th of November,
[00:14:39] Stephen: right? Nice. Okay. Your books are digital and print.
I’ve seen ’em on Amazon and you also had a special two box set on jump master press to help promote. Why did you choose to go with something like that? That’s a little off the beaten path. I found that [00:15:00] interesting.
[00:15:00] Armin: I’m a naive when it comes to publishing, I know nothing really about. My first set of books was with Simon Schuster.
I love the people that jump master press. And so, uh, they have suggested that, and I will go with that, whether it succeeds or not is something that they have to worry about. I’m just concerned about finishing the book but I want people to read it. And if this is a way to get people, to read them, to become interested a again, it’s their choice, not mine.
It’s like being an actor. You make a choice on camera, but it’s up to the editors that decide whether it gets shown.
[00:15:36] Stephen: Yeah. With the writing, you write what you want. Then an editor tells you what you should fix and you redo that acting. You do the same thing, 5, 6, 10 times or whatever. And then someone chooses which one they make the choice.
[00:15:49] Armin: I guess the director chooses which one he is gonna send to the editor. And then the editor decides with the director and the producer, which take whether it’s a close up of you or a close up of somebody [00:16:00] else what’s gonna happen at that moment. So you leave it up to the gods as far as an actor goes. And, uh, and I suppose as a writer, you have much, much more control.
You play all the characters and you decide you are the editor, you decide what’s going to, what’s gonna be in the novel. And what’s not one of the things I’m doing now in my third book, it is eradicating some things where I go, I’ve already said that I don’t need that. We can cut that. We can cut that we can cut that or explicate something a little bit better.
[00:16:27] Stephen: So the writing compared to acting, or even voiceover it’s gotta be completely different. Creative juices, creative thinking. Do you, do you feel like they’re one you like more than the other or they just
[00:16:42] Armin: different? I do. Don’t tell my agent. I prefer writing over acting because you have more control.
The other thing that is perhaps better for in acting than it is in writing is that in acting it’s a collaborative process. You were working with other people, you were working with other [00:17:00] actors, other with the director, with the designers, with the cameraman, if you’re on camera and, and it’s a collaborative process, writing is a very lonely isolating process.
You are alone with your thoughts and your computer, and, and unless you have someone to speak to a spouse or later on an editor, it’s a very lonely process that, that part of. I’m not fond of, and I much prefer the acting to that, but the ability to shape things the way you want them shaped is preferable in writing than it is overacting.
Okay. Except I also work in the theater as well. And there, once you’re on stage, then it’s up to the audience to decide whether they’re gonna watch you or watch your leading lady. And. So you’re more in control on, on, on stage than you are in front of a camera, which is why, again, don’t tell my agent, I prefer acting on stage to [00:18:00] acting on camera.
[00:18:01] Stephen: Oh, that’s interesting. But I love that it it’s all creative. It’s all just allowing you to express yourself in different ways and use it differently, which I think is sometimes important because looking and doing something a little different can definitely help you in a different area. You get into a rut sometimes if you’re doing just the one.
[00:18:19] Armin: So, yes, absolutely true. And it is very creative and I’ve been very fortunate that all my life I’ve tended to do creative things and the writing, which is late a late life sort of career has been indeed refreshing. And re-energizing because I was an am a little bored with acting and I’m so happy to be doing, to be working in this new creative field.
Nice. Although I’ve been writing for 20 years, but these books, this trilogy that I’ve just about completed, they are very satisfied.
[00:18:56] Stephen: Cool. Do you have any plans for what comes next? Writing what [00:19:00]
[00:19:00] Armin: I don’t ironically, a number of people have made a suggestion, which I’m dickering with, which would be something that wasn’t fiction because I teach Shakespeare.
Many of my students have begged me to write a textbook about what I teach. So that a textbook on rhetoric for actors. There are books out about that, but my students are begging me to put my spin on it, into write. So that might be my next thing. My editor and my publishers want me to write more in the vein that I’ve been in.
And perhaps I will, but at this point, I don’t know what that story is. And so until a muse gives me an inspiration about what to write next. I haven’t decided what the next project would.
[00:19:48] Stephen: I like the idea of the Shakespeare rhetoric book, because we hear all the time, people in the author groups, communities saying, oh, somebody’s already done that.
And someone always comes back with, but it’s [00:20:00] not from you. It’s not your voice. There are people out there that need what, how you say it and what you’re gonna say. So I think that’s sounds great. I especially. The goal is to help people understand and portray Shakespeare in a way. I think more younger people should get introduced to that.
So they don’t hate things like Shakespeare or even other things.
[00:20:23] Armin: It, I agree with you a hundred percent and my success at doing just what you just said over the course of many years, inspires me to write it down because after all, after a while, Either, I won’t be able to do it or I’ll be dead one or the other.
And, uh, and somebody needs to carry this on and I’m sure my former students are carrying it on. And I’ve been told that there are many of them have become teachers and teach what I’ve taught them, but it you’re right. I need to Chronicle what I’ve said so that it’s in my voice just as you just put it.
[00:20:52] Stephen: Beautiful. All right. So here’s interesting for you, your books, would you rather see them as a movie or a TV show? [00:21:00]
[00:21:00] Armin: I would rather see them as books.
[00:21:02] Stephen: Okay. I perfect. I love that.
[00:21:06] Armin: If someone wants to go ahead and do that, of course, that would be lovely. That’s a nice Christmas gift. Absolutely. But for me, the goal was, as I said earlier, to put words together in a certain way, in order to create this world that I was creating and to explicate the history of the times and to understand.
How Shakespeare might have become Shakespeare. That’s also what my book deals with. How did this young man, because it, it is a young Shakespeare in my book. How did this young man go from being a, a middle class student in a small town to the greatest living English writer in literature? How did that happen?
And my books in a way, try to address that I’m not interested in them matriculating into film. Because again, somebody else then [00:22:00] becomes, has control. True. Somebody takes my book and makes it into a film or TV show or series. Then I’m no longer in control, even if I’m the executive producer, which they wouldn’t do.
But even if I were, I still wouldn’t have the control that I would have as a writer. So I would further see them as books. However, if someone wants to do that, please
[00:22:21] Stephen: give me a call. So two questions, if they did do a show, would you do a part in it? Would you be interested in that? I’m sure
[00:22:31] Armin: there’d. Some stunt casting somewhere, but I don’t, when I think about the characters in my book, there aren’t really anything there that I could play.
Uh, maybe an Inkeeper that would be okay. A barkeeper exactly. I don’t think I have a barkeeper. I do have an Inkeeper, but I, but I don’t have a barkeeper, but they do drink a lot. So yes, I could do that, but I would not, I would not see, I do not see myself as any of the characters. [00:23:00] However it is. Sad that one of my good friends from star Trek, deep space nine, would’ve made a perfect John D, but he’s passed away now.
And that’s Rene
[00:23:08] Stephen: I knew you were gonna say that. Yeah. That I, that was sad hearing about that. Definitely. Cuz I thought he was fantastic in that show and Benson before that other
[00:23:17] Armin: things you have no idea. He was a prince of the theater. Some of the things I’ve seen him do on stage were extraordinary.
And uh, I miss him every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of. Have a little conversation with him. We were great friends off camera. We spent a lot of time traveling together. We bonded amazingly in that first year of deep space, nine. Nice and, uh, stayed great friends all the way to the end.
[00:23:44] Stephen: that’s beautiful. I love that. It, you said one of your goals is to help introduce Shakespeare to people in a way that they can underst. So if that comes through in the book and they did do like a [00:24:00] TV show, a limited series, late episodes or something based on the book and it came through in the show.
Do you think that might get people going, Hey, I might wanna try reading these books. Maybe it’d be a way to introduce people to some of these books in reading.
[00:24:16] Armin: It could be usually filmed works. Don’t stress, stress. Oftentimes language is inculcated into that. And you get shows with wonderful language and the writers have been purposeful about using very good language, but the stress is never about why do they speak this way?
They just do my books and my teaching is about why did they speak this way? What prompts them to do that? What prompts a hip hop artist to speak that way? What prompts a person. Where language is, is their second language to speak the way they do. Why do people use language the way they do? That’s what my books slightly [00:25:00] deal with as well.
I don’t think a TV show or a film would be interested in. However, if they were to be accurate as I am about the times, maybe that would inspire. And curious minds to say, I wanna know more about this period. So that, that might be a good thing. Yeah, that, that would be a very good thing. I am. I am. There’s a man named Edmund Spencer, who was just a little before Shakespeare’s time.
Actually. I think they overlapped a little, who said the purpose for literature is to entertain and to educate. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Entertain certainly. And.
[00:25:42] Stephen: Nice. Great. Let, let me go back to something you said earlier, you said you love to read, and obviously you like Shakespeare, but what are some of your favorite books other than the Shakespeare plays?
[00:25:53] Armin: I long since gave up reading about Shakespeare plays, cuz I figured I knew enough about that. Well, I didn’t know enough [00:26:00] about Shakespeare in history and, and, and that I spend most of my time reading. I. Reading about Elizabethan times, then it takes me over to what was happening in Spain at the time, or it takes me what was happening in France at the time, what was happening in Scotland.
At the time I read a lot of history. I’m not so much interested in the plays anymore because at this point, I think I’ve done a third of the cannon and many of the plays I’ve done many times. I’m not that interested in the plays, but I am interested in the history. And if I were to, if I were to turn my screen around, even here in Kansas, I brought part of my library with me so that nice, you know, I can keep reading and,
[00:26:45] Stephen: and it’s physical books, not just a Kindle.
I love that. That’s
[00:26:48] Armin: right. I have Kindle. I do have a Kindle here. It is. But. I like the, the actual holding of the books. I like the tactile. Yes. I’m holding a book and [00:27:00] I’m reading it. And then I take, if I’m diligent, I take a pencil and I go that’s oh, that’s something I have to remember. And I circle that and I’ll go back and look for those things later on.
[00:27:09] Stephen: Oh, that’s great. I love that. And I love what you said about reading the history because. There have been things throughout my life since high school that I’m like, oh my gosh, that was happening at the same time as this other thing, why didn’t they like teach us thinking that what’s happening at the same time?
Not just here’s Europe history, here’s Africa history. Here’s so I love that you’re getting around there. There’s still so many things I’ve learned.
[00:27:34] Armin: the macrocosm is I think equally as interesting as the microcosm is interesting, you get into some specific and you. Very clear about that, but to find out what the rest of the world was doing at the same time, that to me is fascinating.
And then if you’re good, you equate the microcosm with the macrocosm or the macrocosm with the microcosm, and you have a better understanding of how people were really existing. [00:28:00] It’s like getting into a time machine. Yeah. And going back in time and really understanding where these people were at.
[00:28:07] Stephen: Yeah.
And I think that’s great. That’s a great way of doing it. I’ve got a friend that likes. War and that history world war II, civil war and all that. And, uh, he tells me things at times and I’m just like, wow, that’s why didn’t they ever teach us that because that’s way more interesting to learn it that way, instead of just dry.
[00:28:28] Armin: And God bless the teachers that are able to give you that God, we don’t have enough. Teachers are phenomenal people. They’re heroes in my. But not every teacher is as fascinated with his subject as another teacher is. And if you’re lucky enough to get a teacher that is inspiring and excited about what they’re teaching, you will indeed go out on your own and start reading for yourself.
[00:28:55] Stephen: Yes. Agreed. And you always hear those stories of the people that say I had this one [00:29:00] teacher. My fourth grade teacher was like that for me, she caught me reading a book behind my textbook. And at the end of the year gave me a book about animals, which I still have. So she was like that for
[00:29:14] Armin: me. Definitely. I have Dr.
Rhodes, David Rhodes, who was my university teacher at UCLA who inspired me to study Shakespeare. And, uh, I’m very grateful for David and he, I thank him in my book as well. He’s part of the people I. I’m very grateful because he started me on the path.
[00:29:33] Stephen: Okay. So you traveled all over and you showed me some great looking books.
Do you have a favorite bookstore that you like to go to?
[00:29:41] Armin: It’s embarrassing. I don’t, there is a bookstore in my neighborhood that I use, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite. I go there because it’s the most convenient and it’s a big bookstore. I, however, when I travel abroad, especially to England, Invariably.
If we pass a [00:30:00] bookstore in England, I’ll go in and investigate the bookstore, but I don’t have a favorite. And I’m embarrassed by that. I really should have a favorite bookstore and my apologies to all bookstore owners, everywhere that I don’t.
[00:30:13] Stephen: Yeah, me and my kids always did the same thing going on vacation.
We’d make sure to look up a bookstore to go to. That was always part of our vacation. Which always ended up now, my suitcase weighs about 50 pounds more because we’ve got
[00:30:29] Armin: books yes. That’s the blessing of a Kindle. It doesn’t have to weigh 50 pounds,
[00:30:34] Stephen: but like you said, there’s nothing like holding the book and watching your bookshelves start the bow because you’ve got too many books on them.
All right. Before we end the first half of the podcast here, tell everybody real simply if they. I wanna talk about star Trek, but tell me about your new book. Why should I read that? What would you tell? ’em
[00:30:57] Armin: good question. Very good question. Why should you read [00:31:00] my book? If you ever had an inkling about the world that Shakespeare lived in, then I say, read my book.
I, if you had an inkling, if you had a desire to know how did he become this great writer, then you should read my book. If you want a rollicking adventure story that takes place in 1583, read my book. And if you wanna know that actor who played cork, how good a writer is, he read my book.
[00:31:30] Stephen: Nice, great. And I love the fact that you’re actually writing these.
I know a couple other people, actors, I know a few other authors that have been ghost writers for some actors that put their names on books. So I love the fact that you actually did the writing and thought of the story and all that kudos you on that one.
[00:31:46] Armin: Thank you. It was a process when I first started writing in the trilogy before this one, as I said, I started with Michael.
Then I went on to Chelsea and then on the third of those, I wrote it myself. And [00:32:00] that experience taught me that I much prefer writing by myself and not that they weren’t great collaborators, they were, but I liked the control. I liked the ability and it just took too long to send things back. So I enjoy.
The solitude, even though I complained about it earlier, I enjoy the solitude and the challenge more than anything else is one, what do they do next as a writer? You understand? And then once you’ve decided that, how do I put it in a way that’s interesting. And as I said earlier, both educates and entertains because that’s what my book does entertains and educates at the.
[00:32:41] Stephen: Nice. That’s awesome. And if you can accomplish that through a fiction book, then that’s amazing because there’s not a lot of good books that can do that.
[00:32:53] Armin: That’s awesome. I’m I’m gonna brag a little and say everyone who has read my book so far, at least the ones who’ve gotten back to me have said, [00:33:00] yes, that’s what we do.
And it’s a page Turner. I, I have given them interesting things to do that and challenges for them to overcome. I hope everyone who does read it, finds it as interesting as I think it’s great.
[00:33:18] Stephen: When I get done with it, I will send a note and let you know what I thought.
[00:33:21] Armin: great. Thank you. Appreciate that, Steven.